Another liberal ameliorative idol crashes
times have we been told that computers are the answer to educational failure? How many times have we been told that the key to educational progress is that every school child on earth must have his own computer? How many billions has the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in providing computers for poor young people in America and in Third World countries?
From the New York Times:
Computers at Home: Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality
- end of initial entry -
Researchers measuring a home computer’s educational value to a schoolchild in a low-income household are finding that test scores tend to go down, not up.
Thank you for this link. It is yet another piece of evidence supporting the argument that liberals are oriented towards a way of thinking that can be described as “talismanic.” That is, rather than acknowledge the complex, inherently flawed nature of humanity, liberals are constantly on the hunt for some inanimate object or objects that can be added or removed from society in order to perfect it.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 12, 2010 07:00 AM | Send
I first noticed this back in the 1980s during an argument with liberals over “gun control.” Arguably there was a clear desire to punish “guns” for the sins of criminals. This in a way represented a medieval approach to crime and punishment, reverting to the concept of the “deodand”; if a rock or tree fell upon a man, then that object must be punished for its action. Blaming guns for the social failures of the Great Society was clearly easier than admitting a huge liberal program had not delivered on promises made.
We can see this over and over again in liberal argumentation. Rather than address the very real, and serious issues of culture when discussing social problems, liberals time and time again will instead divert to some inanimate object that is either the cause of the problem or the deliverer from it. The notion of computers as saviors of education is merely the latest in a long line of such blunders.
This is, as you rightly note, idol worship. The thing about idolatry is it always, always fails in the end. But a lot of damage can be done in the meantime.